Last modified: January 27th, 2022 by

Defamation Solicitors Dublin

One of the primary rights of any person, as protected under the Irish Constitution, is an individual’s inherent right to a good name. If this right has been unfairly damaged, then the injured party may be entitled to compensation for the damage to their good name.

Normally defamation actions arise when the reputation of an individual is lowered in the eyes of the public.

There are a number of very technical defences available to a Defendant in defamation proceedings which have been articulated in the 2009 Defamation Act.

Generally, a person only has one year to institute proceedings from the date of the defamatory act so one has to act promptly in these cases. In only very limited circumstances is this period increased to two years.

O’Hanrahan Lally D’Alton LLP Solicitors act for Plaintiffs in both the Circuit Court and the High Court and we are happy to boast a high success rate.

If you believe you have been defamed please contact us on 01 8 555 162 or email us at

* Solicitors cannot calculate fees or other charges in contentious business as a percentage or a proportion of any award or settlement nor is it our practice to do so.

Defamation Law F.A.Q.

A person who alleges that they have been defamed must show that there was a publication of a defamatory statement concerning them which was false.

The period allowed within which to institute defamation proceedings is one year from the date of the defamation occurring. This period can be extended to two years, however this is at the discretion of the Court and a court application is required. The Court will have to be satisfied that the extension of time to allow the defamation proceedings be instituted is in the interests of justice and also considers the potential prejudice that the Plaintiff will suffer if the extension was not allowed and will outweigh the prejudice the Defendant will suffer if the extension of time is not allowed.

The main defence in defamation proceedings is known as “Qualified Privilege”. This is generally a defence raised in cases involved in a retail premises. There is well established caselaw which allows for this defence which states that a shop owner does have the right to protect his/her property and can make reasonable enquiries as to the possibility of missing items. If a Court accepts that the retailer did no more than was necessary to protect his/her property then the person taking the defamation proceedings cannot succeed.

If however the retailer goes beyond what is reasonable and was motivated by malice then the defence of qualified privilege will generally fail.

The other common defence raised in defamation proceedings is where the words uttered are actually the truth. There can be no defamation established if one person makes a statement that is accurate and is true of the person against whom the comment was made.

Lastly, another form of defence is where there was no publication of the words or statements made.

In essence, there needs to be publication to an audience of words which are untrue of the injured party in order to succeed and overcome the defences referred to above.

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